HEAVEN'S HARLOTS: MY FIFTEEN YEARS AS A SACRED PROSTITUTE IN THE CHILDREN OF GOD CULT
Sharon was chosen to join me in Monaco. Recently arriving from Paris, Sharon was just as I remembered, only a little thinner. She had been our lead female vocalist, but she was one of the few performers who never got a big head. Tall, blond, and largely built, she always reminded me of a Valkyrie opera singer when she was onstage. Offstage, she was shy, insecure, and absolutely loyal to friends and family. The only self-gratifying action that I ever knew her to indulge in was when she had a private affair with one of our songwriters. She was very much in love with him, so it surprised everyone when instead she married Timothy, a skinny, feminine-looking brother years younger than she. I never knew if their marriage had been suggested to them, or if they fell in love, but they were a strange combination in everyone's eyes. Timothy absolutely adored Sharon, and she treated him with love and respect.
Timothy, Sharon, and I got along wonderfully, and within days we were singing in the best restaurants in old Monte Carlo. When we needed more privileged contacts in order to get into Jimmy'z, the fishing hole we had our eye on, Sharon's friend Pierre, a movie producer, helped us out.
"Sure, bring along as many girls as you wish," Pierre said enthusiastically when Sharon queried if I could come along on their evening date. He met us at the Cafe de Paris dressed in flashy clothes. He was a large, ruggedly handsome, and extremely jovial man, and I could not help but notice what a striking couple he and Sharon made. Sometimes I wondered what she would have done had she not joined the Family. Certainly her strict Catholic upbringing had not prepared her to sleep with French movie producers in order to gain entrance to a private club.
As we stood before the small, dark, almost hidden entrance to Jimmy'z, the guardian of the door peeked through the sliding aperture and gave her decision whether access to the private club would be denied or not. Before it was our turn at the door, a group of colorfully attired "beautiful people" walked right past us, knocked on the door, and were ushered in. I noticed that one of them was Andy Warhol, recognizable by his white and distinctively styled hair. We were next, and although I was beginning to doubt if Pierre could get us in on this evidently super-privileged evening, he gave no sign of concern.
Pierre knocked on the door. The slide was pushed back silently while those now familiar eyes scrutinized our group of three. Pierre said something I could not hear to the guardian and she quickly opened the door and let us pass through. Entering the vestibule, I followed Pierre and Sharon into the next room, looking around at the other tables for any faces I knew, but it seemed that everyone had eyes on us instead. We were led to the VIP tables, which were curved booths that sat directly next to the small dance floor. The lovely lady at the table who greeted Pierre was Catherine Deneuve, the most famous actress in France. We were introduced as we all sat at her table, and I found her more elegant, gracious, and beautiful than could ever be revealed on the screen.
After being seated with the celebrated actress, we were never denied entry to the private club again. With access to Jimmy'z, we decided to get a table for ourselves, since without one we would always be dependent on some man from another table inviting us over. Standing at the bar in Jimmy'z signified a lower status; with our own table, we could pick and choose from our vantage point. We knew what we were doing there, and the fish did not. Using money we had left over from singing, we bought a bottle of vodka and took a table.
It is not possible for me to list all the men that I went to bed with during this time. Much later, when I was out of the Family and trying to get rid of what I thought were ghosts, a Christian pastor told me to name each man I had been with, or visualize him, and then cast him out of me. I found that it was not only impossible, but tiring and depressing, and I abandoned the practice of casting out demons as soon as I arrived at the Monte Carlo days in my mind. I have never regretted the decision to abandon that technique for ridding oneself of recollections, for I found it guilt producing and totally in conflict with what I really felt for these men at the time. They were not demons, or even bad spirits that possessed me; in fact, if! believed in possession at all (which I'm not sure I do), I possessed these men with a good spirit. What I did was in love and for love, and I think that faith is what protected me from the horrors and degradation that I witnessed in all the high-class call girls whom I met during that period of time.
The Children of God firmly believed that we lived in a different world from anyone else, and we merely stepped into this mundane world of material things and sinful natures in order to save more people from ultimate spiritual death. In fact, death itself was just a stepping-stone to a higher spiritual reality -- a doctrine held by many religions. But we believed that dying without accepting Jesus' salvation would mean hell. It's very hard to say how much I really believed this, now that I am so far removed from it, but I know that my motives were not flesh induced or emotionally inspired. For many years, I did not feel physical pleasure during sex or even desire while flirting. I took on the role of a vestal virgin, offering my body as God's gift of love, a perverse combination of the purity of sacred devotion and the intimacy of marriage bonds. Although I eventually came to realize that not all our girls were so innocently naive about sex, I was able to keep my emotions and my mission so carefully separated that I lost the key to romantic/soul-mate love without ever having used it.
The men I was with were not aware of my mission, however, and they each reacted differently. Nevertheless, I could group these men into the following categories: (1) those who simply made use of the free sex (these were the men I have generally forgotten); (2) those who genuinely liked me or who felt a romantic inclination toward me (these are the ones I remember best); (3) those who found my spiritual message sexually stimulating (these were the ones I recall with pity or disappointment); (4) those few who fell sadly in love with me but not the Family. These were the men I did not share with sexually, as soon as I found out that their concept of love was not compatible with the one I was preaching. Perhaps these were the men who could have truly helped me, who cared enough about me to want me out of the Family's control, but I was too detached from my emotions to recognize real love.
Within a few months after starting our little "home" of three in Monte Carlo, we found an apartment in the plush, private residential area of Cap Martin. Among the exclusive millionaire mansions that lined the coast of the last French peninsula before Italy, ours was one of the few modest houses, and it had been divided into two apartments. We rented the one downstairs, aided by a large security payment from Timothy's father. Sharon and Tim had a beautiful baby girl now, so Tim's father wanted to see them more settled. The house was in walking distance of a bus stop, which could take us to Monaco, the principality that considered itself separate from France but which was served by French public transportation. Carrying a guitar or two, neatly enclosed in a case, and dressed in stylish clothes that we had collected over the years in Paris, we usually hitchhiked, in order to meet more people. At night, after singing or going to the clubs, we had to ask a man we met to take us home, or use one of the taxi drivers who had been a client.
Since Mo's photo had been taken in Tenerife and published widely throughout Europe, Mo lived completely underground now, but from the speed with which we received his encouraging messages, I suspected he was somewhere nearby. That made me rather nervous. I knew that Mo pulled women out of their homes at will to live in his "harem." I imagined life in his home to be terribly restrictive and embarrassingly open about sexual activity. This sounds sanctimonious, considering what I was doing, but there were a few things happening at his house that I felt were past the limit of what I could do, such as walking around naked in front of all the children who lived there.
Recently, Mo had been sending us letters explicitly describing the sex between himself and every woman in his home. Sometimes, the descriptions were not flattering, especially if the woman did not please Mo in some way. One young woman whom I knew was rebuked in a letter because she preferred to return and live with the father of her baby rather than stay in Mo's house.
By now, I was in a continual state of ambivalence over whether I believed in Mo or detested him. It was as if he had given us all a beautiful way to live and then destroyed it; but we kept hanging on for different reasons. About this time I received a message from one of our leaders through Tim.
"I am asked to remind you that you are the writer of 'The Uneager Beaver,' so we should keep a very close watch over your spiritual growth," said Tim hesitantly one morning.
"But that doesn't mean that you are not doing good right now, Jeshanah. We just want to be sure nothing happens that could hurt the work we are doing here," added Sharon sweetly.
"We thought you should have more time in the Word, you know. You have been going out every night, and you usually miss morning devotions. I think we will switch the morning devotions to noon, and we all should be up by then," said Timothy, seemingly pleased that he had already come up with a workable solution.
"Can I go on a bike ride right now?" I asked, wishing to get away for a few moments. "I will take a Mo book with me and read something in the field down the road."
Sharon spoke up immediately and said that would be a good idea. As I rode through the posh neighborhood, seeing only the large servants' quarters from the streets, I thought about Tim's message. Surely it meant that Mo did not want me too near him or any of his pet projects. That was fine with me, as long as I could stay near my son. What if Mo thought I was too unspiritual to raise a child of God? Why did he keep harping on that story I had written? Did I not already receive forgiveness for that? According to the Bible, that sin should have been washed away.
I parked the bike near a pretty orchard, probably someone's private property, and sat under an olive tree. Opening my booklet to one of the more "milky" Mo letters, I tried to read, but my eyesight was hindered by tears. I closed the book and let myself cry uncontrollably. They were tears of despair and confusion. I grasped for meaning in my life, and I came only to Thor. My son was happy and healthy. I was near him, and I knew that if I was good enough, if I obeyed and sacrificed, repented of sins I didn't even recognize yet, I would get him back one day.
When the sobs subsided, I admired my surroundings of neat fences, manicured pastures, and picturesque olive trees with their gnarly, bumpy trunks suggesting a life of difficulty. After releasing the recurrent pain and replenished by nature, I got on the bike and continued my ride around the Cap.
As I continued along the road, pushing the bike now, I met a woman named Sophia, who was visiting from Provence. She promised to visit the next day and to bring her host with her.
Sharon, Tim, and I were excited about the prospect of meeting someone who actually lived in this exclusive neighborhood, but we were not prepared to meet Charles. We had in mind a stiff, dignified CEO type, or maybe a flashy Hollywood pretender. Instead, Sophia walked in the next day with an unpretentious-looking young man who slightly stuttered at first acquaintances.
Charles was of medium build, slightly taller than average; he wore his straight, brown hair in a conservative short cut, and looked eerily like Anthony Perkins when he wasn't playing a psycho. I thought he was handsome, and his strangeness only made him more appealing. Charles had a look that contained a blend of extreme sensitivity and discernment, a combination that I have found makes normal life more difficult to live. As I grew to know Charles better, I discovered that he overcame this difficulty by considering nothing "normal." But then, he could afford this luxury.
Charles had received a title of nobility and a substantial inheritance from his grandfather, who also provided an intricate royal history. An illegitimate child without formally recognized parentage, he had been adopted by a wealthy Hungarian Jew, himself ennobled by Emperor Franz Josef II of Austria-Hungary. The Hungarian noble's mother was a Hapsburg and his father was rumored to have been Queen Victoria's son, Edward, who became King Edward VII. The queen, by special decree, had granted him the right and privilege to use his foreign title in Britain. But the paternity issue was never finally resolved, and the most likely candidate to be his ancestor was the Austro- Hungarian baron himself.
His grandfather had also passed on to Charles the responsibility for a wildlife foundation, which included a large piece of property and an enormous villa on Cap Martin. It was here that Charles lived and cared for a number of protected animal species, but his mild manner and scruffy attire made it impossible to guess he was a descendant of one of Europe's oldest royal lines.
Charles and I immediately struck up a close friendship. He had been married to the daughter of his grandfather's housekeeper, but their marriage did not last long. It appeared that Sophia, the young lady I talked with on the road, was someone interesting he had met while picking grapes in France, and although he informed me that they'd remained in contact throughout the years, she was gone in a few weeks and I never saw her again. Of course, Charles and I spent more time together after Sophia left, and I remember my first evening visit to his chateau as one of the most mysterious and melodramatic moments in my life.
The huge chateau, set off from the main street by a winding drive, appeared nestled in the wild trees like Dracula's castle when I first saw it in the bluish-purple light of the evening. The gray stones contrasted with the live pink flamingos that populated the small pond in front of the chateau's massive doors. We entered through the back door that led past the servants' kitchen, actually the only kitchen in the house. I imagine that nobles never had to cook for themselves in the days when the castle was built. Charles, however, used the kitchen quite frequently to entertain guests. In fact, most of the ornately decorated rooms with their Baroque, gilded furniture were never used by Charles at all. This night, he led me to the library, which had a small room next to it that he used for his bedroom. Instinctively he felt that the library is where I would want to be, and Charles seemed to want to please me. Lighting a fire in the darkened room, he let me browse through the books. I touched them hesitantly. The Family had been through a number of book burnings, and we were discouraged from reading anything, especially books such as these, that seemed to hold ancient wisdom. I was drawn to one in particular, a book by Chiero on reading palms.
"Are you interested in palm reading?" asked Charles, coming up from behind me so silently that I jumped. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to frighten you."
"No, well, yes. I think I am. This looks very intriguing," I said as I thumbed through sketches of the heart line, the fate lines, and others. I was wondering if I should tell him that we really don't believe in anything but what is in the Bible or the Mo letters, but since this was such a rare opportunity to find out something really interesting, I decided to keep that subject for later.
"My sister was into palm reading, among other things. She moved to Greece and opened a bar there with her girlfriend." said Charles quietly.
"Oh? Is she still there? I would love to go to Greece."
"No! She committed suicide a few years ago. In fact, I think this book is hers. Do you want to borrow it?"
Dire thoughts raced through my mind. Tim had warned me that I should not go to Charles's castle alone. Both he and Sharon thought that Charles hid some great secrets in this place. Did he know black magic or something? The eerie shadows made by the fire caused what looked like ghosts to play on the bookshelves. If I took this book, would I be possessed? I looked Charles in the eyes and saw nothing but sincere devotion to a friend, along with a sadness brought on by thoughts of his sister.
"Oh, Charles, that would be lovely. Are you sure you don't mind, this being your sister's book? I'm sure it means something special to you."
"You are special to me too, Jeshanah. You picked up that book, among the hundreds in this room, so I think you should take it."
"Okay, but only to borrow. I'll learn how to read palms, and I'll read yours one day."
I went home that evening with a confusing realization of having found a friend outside the Family. That was not supposed to happen.
"I don't know about that book," said Timothy questioningly as we went over the previous evening during our noon devotions. "What if it has a strange spirit attached? You know what Mo said about spirits using things as vehicles."
"Well, we can pray over it and cast out any spirits," replied Sharon. "Mo's own grandmother read palms." I never understood if Sharon was just coming to my rescue as a friend, or if she was just a closet rebellious woman.
"Yeah, and Mo himself had his palm read by Madam M," I added, by now earnestly desiring to read this book.
Although we wanted to keep Charles as a friend, Timothy and Sharon thought it would be unsafe to give him God's Love since he lived so close. They were also concerned about all the questions Charles asked. He was very inquisitive, and living right down the street, he could spy on all our doings. Since the Family was inherently paranoid, living illegally in most countries, having no visible means of support, and not adhering to local laws, such as sending children to school or doctors regularly, the idea of having an outsider know about our daily activities was out of the question.
"Has he made any physical advances towards you, Jeshanah?" inquired Sharon in an excuse-me-for-intruding voice.
"Well, no, not really. We kissed once after the movies, but he was so shy about it, I didn't want to push anything," I answered, remembering the kiss that Charles had given me. His hands shook as he held my hand in the car, and his lips were quivering. I didn't feel that this was someone I should seduce. He seemed so vulnerable.
"Jeshanah, witness to him every time you're alone. Then, if he wants sex, he knows what it's for, and if he doesn't we know why."
"Why?" I asked, wondering what Timothy's train of reasoning could be.
"Why, he's not a sheep then."
Ironically, Timothy's simplistic advice was really the best we could follow. He usually gave the right advice for the wrong reason. If I slept with Charles, I felt, he could be terribly hurt when he found out that I did the same with lots of men. I did not want to hurt my new and only friend, and although I had various degrees of closeness to Charles throughout the years, I never had a sexual relationship with him. He never asked for it either, and we enjoyed a platonic but deep relationship, a rarity it seems between a man and a woman.
By the winter of 1978, Sharon, Timothy, and I had established ourselves in Monte Carlo as an eccentric but accepted singing team. Going out by two, we took turns staying home with the baby. We sang at most of the restaurants near the palace -- they all had enough of a clientele to make it worthwhile -- and at some of the fancier restaurants down in the Monte Carlo casino area. With Sharon's amazing talent, I did little but collect the money after she sang, make new contacts, and talk to anyone who had questions. After a singing excursion, we usually went to the Cafe de Paris to sit with a drink and wait until the clubs started to fill up. I was used to drinking nightly now, and although I never became a heavy drinker, I felt that I could witness better after a glass of wine. Often, we met people just sitting in the luxurious and much frequented cafe. Now I had a new tool for breaking the ice. If I saw someone who looked like a prospect for fishing, I introduced myself by asking if he wanted his palm read.
One evening, as I was drinking my third or fourth kir, I spied the cooler-than-thou crowd hanging out at the back of the room. I got up and walked straight to their table, keeping my eyes on a short, muscular man who I believed was a high-bred noble.
"Do you want your palm read?" I asked, taking his hand and studying it curiously. He looked up with glassy eyes.
"Can you do this?" He responded too simply, caught off guard for a second.
I studied his hand for quite sometime, while the others at the table debated the validity of palm reading. Actually, even though I had digested the Chiero book completely and knew the lines, clever palm reading becomes perfect with practice. Much of it is relying on intuition and feelings. As I held his small, square hand in my long, slender one, I was surprised at the coarseness of this noble hand. His fingers were short and stubby, with flat, square fingernails. I had more than enough material to reveal what I thought of royal titles and elitism based on blood and wealth.
"You have the hands of a peasant," I said, as I kept my eyes intently focused on his palm. I felt him jerk his hand ever so slightly, and then relax.
There was a roar of protest from his friends.
"Some connection you have with God, not to recognize a noble hand," chirped a little pretty thing at the end of the table, obviously having heard about me before.
"This is a work hand," I continued. "In the old days you would have been working in the fields. Today this hand would work in the factories, but it seems you have had some help from fate." I had no idea how accurate I was in accessing his ancestry. Many years later I would find out that his famous family was once known as "the dynasty of the peasants."
This seemed to be enough for him. He pulled his hand away.
The gentleman, whose name was Andre, bellowed for more drinks.
"What will you have, Jeshanah? Sharon?" he asked kindly. His deeply tanned face showed early signs of age, although he was probably still in his thirties. At twenty-six, I still looked much younger than anyone at the table, probably due to my lack of makeup and unstyled hair. I was beginning to feel sorry for what I had said. It had obviously moved him in some way. When they all decided to continue the party at his house, we were invited.
Andre lived in one of the swankiest private apartment buildings in Monte Carlo. Situated to have a view of the sea, the mountains, and the best spot to watch the famed Monte Carlo Grand Prix, I knew this apartment cost a fortune. Not only was Andre a noble; he also had money, which gave him a top position among the young jet-set crowd. This evening he had invited a few models to his home. One of them was a "James Bond girl." Since I did not go to movies very often, I would never have recognized her, but she was introduced as such.
I felt uncomfortable in this crowd, so I suggested that Sharon sing a few songs. I noticed that Andre listened intently as he tried to figure us out. People were coming and going, and a few times I tried to excuse myself, but Andre always pulled me back, insisting I stay. Finally, Sharon took me aside.
"Andre wants to bite," she said, reverting to her leadership role. "I have to go home, but I think you should stay here. He may never have another chance to hear the message like this."
Sharon left with a chauffeur who was called from the casino area. I wondered why Andre wanted me to stay. He had acted disinterested in me for the last couple of hours. Suddenly he seemed to notice I was there when everyone had left.
"So, tell me about this talent you have for reading palms," he said, seemingly unaffected by the lack of sleep that made it hard for me to keep my eyes open.
"Oh, I just started it. Maybe I read your hand wrong. I know you have some title or something."
"Actually, I am a descendant of Napoleon. Come, let me show you."
He took my hand and led me on a tour of his apartment, showing me all the objects he had inherited from his famous ancestor. I was too tired to show due amazement, and I guess he took this as ignorance or lack of sophistication. We ended up in the bedroom, which sported a tiny, boatlike wooden bed that he claimed had been Napoleon's. It looked like the right size to me, and I was hoping I could lie down in it, mainly because I was thoroughly fatigued. In fact, we did lie down, and in robotlike fashion I told him that we were really messengers from God. I told him that I was God's Love to the lost souls in Monte Carlo. My eyes were closed. I did not know if he heard, or understood, or even cared, but I know I told him, and then we made love.
When I arrived home in the morning, Sharon and Tim were at the kitchen table eating breakfast and feeding their daughter in the highchair. We discussed our evening with the Monte Carlo jet set over croissants and coffee, and we all agreed that they were not the type we should concentrate on. They seemed too rich, young, and beautiful to think about needing God at this point in their lives, and we decided that they were just having fun, while we had a mission.
Soon after, we were told by Mo that the Monte Carlo home should be a secret in the Family. The only trouble was that it was no secret to Cal and Mara, who lived on the other side of Monaco in Cap Ferrat. I used to joke that Thor's parents lived on the two most beautiful and exclusive Caps in the world. My main concern was that Mara and Cal insisted I could only visit Thor at their home and never brought him to my place.
There are no simple explanations of why the situation was like this. Cal claimed that I had deserted Thor, although he knew that I had only gone to Paris temporarily. I knew he was keeping Thor as revenge against me. But I felt guilty for not having been a good wife, so I tried to work out custody of Thor while keeping Cal's feelings a priority. Cal clearly had the cards stacked to his advantage. Not only did he have physical possession of our son, but the leaders also preferred that Thor stay with Cal. They were still saying that God wanted me to put Him first, so right now, as always, all I had for leverage was my body. That is what the leaders wanted -- for God's work, of course.
I spent every free day with my son and often spent the night so I could be with him more. I knew that Cal intended to send Thor to French school in the fall, but I kept up with his reading and writing in English and practiced math exercises with him. His chubby little five-year-old body was full of energy. Often we would take long walks around the Cap, stopping to look at fish or discover a turtle. Thor had a great imagination, and he liked to pretend he was a pirate, or a soldier, or a knight. I played all the other parts -- the villain, the damsel in distress, the enemy, the poor old lady who needed defending. At night I made up fantastic stories of Thor riding a white horse and flying off to another world to save his princess Chiara, a little girl who was his friend in Paris. We bonded intensely, and for this time I was forever grateful, since we both would need that connection to make it through some very rough years. Still, I was upset that Thor could never stay with me in my home. One morning, sleeping in Thor's room, I woke up early before anyone in Cal's house was stirring. It was still a little dark outside as I shook Thor awake.
"Shh, don't say anything, Thor," I warned him as he opened his eyes and looked at me with a smile.
"We are going on an adventure before anyone else wakes up. Do you want to do that?"
He shook his little red head yes and jumped out of bed rubbing his eyes. I had already prepared a small backpack with some of Thor's clothes, which I put over his shoulders. I didn't want to carry a suitcase and arouse suspicion. We tiptoed through the French doors that opened up into the yard. Thor was very good about being quiet, and I could hear my own heart beat excitedly. I was planning to kidnap Thor back.
I kept looking back over my shoulder while we headed for the road, thinking that surely God would wake up somebody to run after me if this was not His Will. No one came. As soon as we reached the main road, I stuck out my thumb. Most of the light traffic that came down the road to the Cap were domestic workers coming in, not going out.
"Why aren't we taking a bus?" asked Thor.
"Because it is too early, honey. The buses are not running yet. But this is an adventure. You want to do something different, don't you?"
"Yes, but I'm hungry."
"Okay, as soon as we get a ride out of here, we'll stop and get something to eat."
"Can I have a religeuse?" he asked, requesting his favorite French pastry.
"You can have as many as you want, honey, as long as you drink it with milk."
I would not be safe until we got a ride out of the Cap. Finally, I saw a gray Mercedes come down the road. I frantically waved him down.
"I have to catch a train," I said. "Can you take us to the train station?"
The driver let us in and dropped us off at the Beaulieu station. I had decided to take the first train going in either direction. Luckily, the first one was headed for Italy, the direction I needed to go. We got off in the Menton station, and I took the first bus going by Cap Martin.
Timothy and Sharon were just eating breakfast when I arrived with Thor. Sharon took my little boy in her arms while I cried on Timothy's shoulder.
"Oh, Timothy, please let me keep him. I just want to have him for the weekends. Please help me."
"He'll help you," said Sharon from the side. "We'll make sure you can have your son on weekends, Jeshanah. I promise."
Sharon stuck by her promise. Timothy called Peter and Sheila, who came out immediately knowing that Cal would throw a fit. Cal came out to the house and searched, never thinking to go upstairs where Thor and I were hiding in the neighbor's apartment. Peter and Sheila kept telling Cal to quiet down and go home, since they were afraid he might blow our cover. Finally, Peter and Timothy took Cal by force back to his home. Thanks to Cal's display of disobedience to leadership, the leaders were now on my side. They told Cal that unless he agreed to allow Thor to stay with me on weekends, I would keep Thor in an undisclosed location indefinitely. He agreed.
Having Thor on weekends was like heaven on earth for me. Now Breeze and Abraham came over more often, first as liaisons from Cal's home to make sure I didn't keep Thor, and then as regular guests. Breeze was my old singing partner from Eze-sur-Mer, and she started going out to clubs with us more often, which was a relief for Sharon, who was pregnant again. We all suspected that Sharon had become pregnant from a one-night stand. Timothy took this like a real soldier of the Lord. He cared for Sharon, and eventually he treated the new baby as if she were his own.
Breeze had been trained as a violinist, but now she wrote songs, composed music, and played the guitar. She was shorter than I and rounder, but she made the most of her good points. She wore heavy makeup that accented her big brown eyes, and she permed her shoulder-length brown hair so it hung in waves around her face. Her firm, well-endowed breasts were highlighted by the clothes she wore, revealed in a low-cut bodice or tightly wrapped in a clingy material. Breeze knew how to make a man look twice.
Unlike most of the girls in the Family who worked with me, Breeze never seemed bothered by fatuous worries of competition. In fact, seeing my poor knowledge of makeup and clothes, she took it upon herself to give me a makeover. She suggested that my waist-length hair be cut a few inches and curled in spiral waves. An experienced seamstress, she made dresses for me that accented my figure and drew attention to the curve of my derriere. She even encouraged me to wear shorter skirts that flaunted my long legs. I felt safe with Breeze and trusted her opinion almost as much as I trusted Sharon's. More than any other home I had ever been in, I thought that the members of this home embraced the ideal of true brotherly and sisterly love.
With Breeze on our team, I had pink business cards printed that read SONGS OF LOVE, IMPRESARIO: JESHANAH and our phone number printed on the bottom. We now passed as professional singers, which mainly meant that it was easier for me to book us at private parties. I carried these cards with me at all times, handing them out freely, and this became our cover for many activities during our time in Monte Carlo.
While waiting for final approval from Peter and Sheila for Breeze to join our home, I met Salim, a dashing figure, well known in elite European circles. Once I saw a picture of Salim and his wife in a national magazine, accompanying a story about a high-society party in Paris, and only because of this did I know of his privileged status in society. I eventually discovered that he was a financier who was respected and feared as one of the top players in the international finance world, but since wealth and materialism meant little to me at the time, I never inquired into his business or his private life.
As I have already described, Salim was the man who first gave me money for sex. Until that point, if I received any money it was understood beforehand by the man that it would pay for rent, food, or necessities for the Family. I would ask them to take me shopping, and of course some were surprised to find me buying baby clothes, children's shoes, or a blender. This might not seem like an obvious difference, but receiving necessities and other supplies instead of hard money somehow made it seem less of a monetary exchange for sex. However, around the time I met Salim, we began receiving the letters from Mo saying that we should take money for it! "My Lord, you're providing enough FF service and getting laid, it's time you got paid!" ("Make it Pay!" 684:11). Women started to accept money for giving love, then they asked for it, and finally the Family set up its own escort services. Taking the money from Salim was a turning point for me and for our work in Monte Carlo. He was to be my first steady fish in Monte Carlo. I eventually thought of him as a friend who showed his appreciation with gifts, but he also provided introduction to quite a few Middle Eastern billionaires.
As I became more acquainted with Salim and his lifestyle, I was often reminded of the quote attributed to Lord Byron, which Mo had highlighted for us in his letters: "I have drunk every cup of fame and tasted every pleasure, and yet I die of thirst" ("War and Peace" 255: 98). The more I met these men who had all the material wealth they wanted, the more I felt like a true angel of mercy, bringing their wasted and thirsty souls the water of life. I don't know if they shared this sentiment, but I certainly let them know how I felt, especially Salim, who was the recipient of my letters and poems. In fact, I first thought that he truly cared about me when I saw a card I had written to him stuck under the glass top of his desk, in view for all his closest acquaintances to see.
Salim was not the only one I sent poems to; on the contrary, sending notes to the men I met was part of my witnessing procedure. I usually followed a night together with a pretty card I personally selected that reminded me in some way of the man or our experience together. I wrote a verse or a Mo quote that made reference to the salvation message or continuing in God's Love. However, for Salim, due to our lengthy relationship, I began to write personal poems. These were not love poems, in the usual sense, but instead they explained a spiritual love in "higher realms" of eternal life, such as this excerpt taken from one long poem I composed and sent to Salim:
Then from the view of this great
This was the type of poem I wrote to a millionaire who introduced me to billionaires, some of whom have been accused of making their money by dealing in arms. I believed I was giving them spiritual insight, and I consoled my conscience that I was taking from the rich to give to the poor. Once Salim understood that I used none of the money he gave me for myself, he started to buy me personal presents.
"Do you ever buy yourself a dress with the money I give you?" he asked me one evening as I dressed in his hotel bedroom. I had on what I thought my best dress, which he had probably seen a dozen times now.
"No, I give everything to the Lord's work. You know that."
"But don't you work for the Lord too?" he responded, playing in the fantasy I had shared with him.
"Well, we decide together what is needed. I don't think I need clothes. Did my clothes attract you to me?" I asked with a smile.
Salim allowed himself a rare smile and went into the adjoining sitting room.
"Have you ever been to Yves Saint Laurent?" he asked me when I came into the room, ready to leave. I thought he was talking about a small village nearby, St. Laurent du Var.
"I think I visited there once," I replied.
"I want you to go there tonight and pick out a dress," continued Salim. "I will meet you at Jimmy'z later to see what you have bought. Get whatever you want."
"Isn't that a little far for me to go tonight?" I asked, still thinking he was talking about the village.
"No, it's right across the street. Kahlil will accompany you there," he said with a quizzical look on his face. He was beginning to understand that I didn't know what he was talking about.
Kahlil was Salim's right-hand man. He took me across the street from the Hotel de Paris to two haute couture boutiques displaying the clothes of Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. I felt foolish when I realized what Salim had been referring to. Mara and I had often looked in these display windows, while she pointed out to me which clothes were tasteful and which were not. I wished she were here with me now to help me choose a dress. I wished somebody were with me besides Kahlil, and I felt awkward asking for his opinion. But since he was the only one, I asked anyway.
We went through half a dozen exotic and colorful dresses, which made me look ridiculous, and Kahlil agreed that they were not for me. Then he suggested that I go next door to the Dior boutique, which had more conservative styles. He helped me choose a few evening dresses, and we finally agreed on a simple black satin dress overlaid with embroidered chiffon and a sheer cape covering spaghetti straps. Kahlil suggested I buy shoes to go with it. Made of a black velvet, with very high heels, they were the most exquisite shoes I ever owned. Salim looked pleased to see me when I arrived at the club in clothes that made me seem like a different person. That evening he introduced me to the mayor of Nice and his wife, who were sitting at the table. I showed them pictures of my son, which I carried with me at all times. The mayor's wife, who was American, thought this was terribly endearing.
On another occasion, Salim bought me a signed, limited-edition print by a contemporary artist he had discovered in Paris. Salim said that the painting, of a nude, waiflike girl with adolescent-sized breasts, reminded him of me. She had flowers in her long hair and held a folded piece of material around her hips, in which she had collected a bouquet of flowers. A vine was entwined around her slender left arm, and she looked gently at a dove she held in her right hand. The lines of the figure were lightly sketched over a blue background. This print said more about Salim's feelings for me than all the words he could have uttered, but never did.
I often have wondered why it was Salim, and not some fly-by-night client, who first gave me money. Throughout the waves of doubt about the concept of sacred prostitution that I continued to experience during my Monte Carlo days, it was often Salim's special attention and our presumed spiritual connection that caused me to focus on the sacred side, and convinced my tortured mind that I was not a prostitute.